Architecture

2011 Urban Design and Architecture Awards

The City created this competition 'to recognize and celebrate excellence in the design of our urban enivronment.' Here are the 2011 winners.

By Martin Hering
Published November 21, 2011

The City of Hamilton just released the Jury Report (PDF, 26 MB) on the 2011 Urban Design and Architecture Awards, which were held for the fourth time this past November 10.

The city created this competition, which takes place every other year, "to recognize and celebrate excellence in the design of our urban environment". This year, there were 36 submissions from owners, architects, and citizens.

The awards jury included four experts: two architects from Toronto (Stasia Bogdan, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and Bruce Cudmore, EDA Collaborative) and two urban planners from the City of Hamilton (Tim McCabe, General Manager, Planning and Economic Development, and Paul Mallard, Director of Planning).

The jury decided to create six categories for the 2011 Urban Design and Architecture Awards: Restoration, Architecture and Sustainability, Architecture, Urban Design, Adaptive Reuse, Landscape Architecture, and Healthy Communities.

It gave out 13 awards in total. In addition, there was a People's Choice Award for the project that received the most online votes.

Below, you will find a summary of the jury's comments on the winners in each category, with links to photos and information (usually from the architects' webpages). For an overview of the names of the owners, architects, and other members of the design team, you can visit the City's webpage.

There is also a very nice map of the locations of all projects, which was created by the Hamilton Spectator.

Restoration

All jury members were highly impressed by the Lister Block, which received an Award of Outstanding Achievement and Excellence in Restoration. They noted that the Lister is also a showcase of urban design, adaptive reuse, and community renewal.

Lister Block corner detail (RTH file photo)
Lister Block corner detail (RTH file photo)

Hamilton City Hall, like the Lister Block a designated heritage property, got an Award of Merit in Restoration since "[t]he many interior features and design details of the building that give the building its architectural identity were protected during the restoration."

Our restored Hambly House received an Award of Honorable Mention from the jury.

Architecture and Sustainability

The jury was very impressed by the CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory and awarded this project the highest honor in the Architecture and Sustainability category. The jury called it a "tour-de-force of passive and active sustainable technologies".

Awards of Merit were given to St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School, which features a green roof and an outdoor classroom, and to the Learning Exchange at Mohawk College, which has a curtain wall of coloured glass that appears at night "as a lit mural of vibrant colours and shapes".

Mohawk College Learning Exchange (RTH file photo)
Mohawk College Learning Exchange (RTH file photo)

Urban Design

The Award of Excellence in Urban Design went to the Branthaven Beach House, a townhouse development on Beach Boulevard. The jury liked the public promenade which "is an inviting feature visually framed by townhouse blocks and lined by trees, painted pergolas, enhanced paving, and seating".

The jury gave an Award of Merit in Urban Design to Bridgewater Court, a New-Urbanism-style townhouse development by Hamilton City Housing, which it sees as "a successfully planned development where the automobile is not a dominate driver of the design ".

It gave another Award of Merit in Urban Design to the Good Shepherd Women's Services Centre, calling it a "successful urban design strategy that is aware and sensitive of the surrounding context". Even though the Centre is a single building, its facade gives the appearance of several buildings.

Adaptive Reuse

The jury recognized the West Avenue Residences, a 19th-century school building that was converted to affordable housing units, with an Award of Excellence in Adaptive Reuse. Even an unpleasant gymnasium addition from the 1950s was successfully incorporated into this project.

An Award of Merit in Adaptive Reuse went to St. Thomas Lofts, a red-brick church that was divided into affordable apartments.

Landscape Architecture

The jury regarded the Edible Landscape in the forecourt of City Hall as a "creative approach to landscape architecture in raising awareness about our food" and recognized it with an Award of Excellence in Landscape Architecture.

Healthy Communities

The new MacNab Transit Terminal received an Award of Merit in Healthy Communities because it provides "a well functioning and a visually pleasing high quality environment" for public transit users.

Architecture

The C Hotel By Carmen's received an Award of Merit in Architecture from the jury which noted its "variation in the form and exterior materials of the building".

People's Choice Award

The People's Choice Award, which was given to the project that received the largest number of online votes, went to the Multi-Tenant Office Building in the Ancaster Business Park.

Martin Hering is a political scientist and preservationist who is interested in architecture and Hamilton's heritage buildings.

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By Locked (anonymous) | Posted November 21, 2011 at 10:21:27

What's with the apartment building on Locke Street by the Bridgewater Court people?
Is this planned? I haven't heard anything about it.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 21, 2011 at 20:28:09 in reply to Comment 71474

that rendering has been there for a long time. It's at the site of the empty Asian market. Personally I think it's perfect for that site and has street front retail, but don't be surprised if the Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association tries to fight it.

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By TnT (registered) | Posted November 28, 2011 at 00:45:42 in reply to Comment 71499

On what grounds would they oppose that?

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By Martin (registered) | Posted November 21, 2011 at 14:11:06

Catherine Nasmith - a Toronto architect, heritage activist, and editor of Built Heritage News - wrote an interesting comment on the 2011 Urban Design Awards:

Editor's Note by Catherine Nasmith Built Heritage News, November 21, 2011

It is a wonderful thing to see the Lister Block restored and praised so highly, but as people take bows, it is important to remember how close we came to losing this building. The fight to save it was bitter. It was only the very highly vocal Hamilton heritage advocates, joined by the provincial ACO and finally by then Minister of Culture, Caroline di Cocco who made the difference. The voices to save it on Hamilton City Council were in the minority, and took quite a beating for their stance. What a difference an activist Minister with money in hand can make. This renewal is triggering all kinds of positive things in its neighbourhood.

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By Uncle F. (anonymous) | Posted November 21, 2011 at 15:33:26

However there's no comment on City Hall. The original restoration architect, ERA, resigned the commission rather than substitute anything other than the original cladding, marble, on the structure. They are the one that should be receiving the award for falling on their sword.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 21, 2011 at 20:26:30

I always love the people's choice award in Hamilton. This year - a suburban office box. haha. I think last year was some townhomes. Some great projects on here though. Hamilton is slowly getting some good design. Thx for the recap.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted November 21, 2011 at 21:12:14 in reply to Comment 71497

Much like the Spec's "Reader's Choice Award" the People's choice aware is less about what people appreciate and more about how many clicks someone can muster up through their social network (and I mean that in the broad sense of people you know, not just facebook).

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By Martin (registered) | Posted November 22, 2011 at 07:51:11 in reply to Comment 71501

Robert, I agree with your analysis. I would add that there were too many choices (36 very diverse projects), too few voters (around 2000, I have heard), and - for most projects - a lack of mobilization. I wonder how the People's Choice Award could be improved. Any suggestions?

Comment edited by Martin on 2011-11-22 07:53:20

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted November 22, 2011 at 14:52:40 in reply to Comment 71510

(1) All projects should be comparable (i.e. let's not compare a rendering to an actual building, or a neighbourhood park "plan".) If you want to give awards to other things, make new categories (i.e. People's choice - Best Commercial Building, People's Choice Best Adaptive Re-Use, People's Choice Best Residential New build"
(2) Maximum 15 nominees for any one award (fewer people to choose from).
(3) Details on the voting website, including multiple pictures that can be enlarged (not thumbnail sized only) and a brief description of the project (I didn't vote because I didn't feel I could make an informed choice with the informatoin they gave me).
(4) More media coverage/attention - The best way to make this more impartial is to increase the number of people voting so the number of impartial voters outweighs the influence of "interested" voters, who have some connection to the project. I think the best way to do this is more media coverage/attention. Let's face it these awards are not well publicized.

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By Martin (registered) | Posted November 23, 2011 at 02:28:36 in reply to Comment 71540

Robert, I agree with most of your suggestions: more voters are needed, but they also need more information that is easily accessible and fewer choices - which could be achieved if several award categories were created.

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By Nox (anonymous) | Posted November 22, 2011 at 08:54:57

To put things in a bit of perspective, there were just under 700 housing starts in Q3 2011 (a decline from Q3 2010, which saw around 1,000 housing starts). The sample pool of decent local work may have improved, but it has also coincided with an explosion of construction, only a tiny fraction of which obviously merited consideration. If the public sector needs to give itself awards for the work it does, fine, but what about the ability to shape the larger tone and aesthetic of our city? High-fiving each other for spending wads of taxpayers' money is one thing; finding creative ways to encourage an nurture humane urban and suburban environments is another. To me, the very fact that they have a Peoples Choice Award is a sign that the jury is living in a rarified bubble.

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By Martin (registered) | Posted November 22, 2011 at 10:27:52 in reply to Comment 71511

Nox, you raise a very interesting point: the lack of newly built single-family residences among the award winners. Part of the reason was that there were no submissions of new, architect-designed single-family projects this year. Could it really be that there were no new single-family homes that had an impact on urban design and architecture? Hamilton has a strong tradition of building striking modern homes, as you can see in SLEEK 2, the new HIStory+HERitage exhibit on modern residential architecture from 1955-1975. It should be possible to continue this tradition, build architecturally interesting homes, and submit them to the next Urban Design Awards competition in 2013.

Comment edited by Martin on 2011-11-22 10:29:12

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By Nox (anonymous) | Posted November 22, 2011 at 22:20:54 in reply to Comment 71520



2009-2010 witnessed $1.7 billion in construction – including $873 million in residential construction, $358 million in commercial projects, $274 million in institutional builds and $254 industrial construction starts. I guess I'm just a little underwhelmed by our batting average.

http://raisethehammer.org/article/1288/city_tops_$1_billion_in_building_activity_for_2010


If this CMA is building even 250 homes six months out of the year, you'd be looking at 3,000 homes in a two-year sample. If that's the case, I'd say that the horse has left the barn.

BTW, he appears in that video over yonder in the blog column but David Premi's work isn't really represented here, and he did a home (his own) as well as the HPL/Market redo. Weird, yeah?

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By Martin (registered) | Posted November 23, 2011 at 02:20:16 in reply to Comment 71548

Nox, I agree - that's a lot of residential construction, and most of it is conventional. These numbers show that architecturally interesting residential projects are very rare.

The Central Library/ Farmer's Market was one of the 36 submissions to the Urban Design awards competition this year. I don't know why it didn't get an Urban Design award - perhaps because it was mostly an interior renovation? In May 2011, it had received an Award of Design Excellence from the Ontario Association of Architects.

David Premi's own house was not among the submitted projects this year. It is likely that it had not yet been finished by the cut-off date of June 30, 2011. Maybe he will enter it in 2013.

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By Market is terrible (anonymous) | Posted November 24, 2011 at 20:46:57

The Library Market reno is like putting lipstick on a pig. The original building is so bad it can't be saved. The worst market I've ever been in and I make sure I visit the market in every city I visit

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By Martin (registered) | Posted November 25, 2011 at 08:43:22 in reply to Comment 71602

The reno is not lipstick, and the building is not a pig.

The renovation of the Library Market received not only the prestigious Award of Design Excellence from the Ontario Association of Architects but was also awarded on Honorable Mention at the 2011 Design Exchange Awards and was featured on the cover of Canadian Architect magazine.

As you can see in these photos, the renovations enhanced the beauty and style of the original building, designed by local architect Anthony Butler.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted November 28, 2011 at 18:16:02 in reply to Comment 71611

The reno is not lipstick, and the building is not a pig.

The 'new' market sucks.

The Central Library/ Farmer's Market was one of the 36 submissions to the Urban Design awards competition this year. I don't know why it didn't get an Urban Design award - perhaps because it was mostly an interior renovation?

No...because it's a God-awful 'renovation'.

http://mystoneycreek.blogspot.com/2011/0...

(For the record, I was going to the Farmers' Market downtown...and at the Center Mall...back in the mid-60s. And no, I'm no nostalgist, but sometimes 'newer' isn't 'better'. Sometimes it's just plain dreck.)

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By jacob (registered) | Posted November 26, 2011 at 23:18:58 in reply to Comment 71611

It's hard to consider the library and market reno a success if you actually go there. The library is definitely better, but the market feels like it's lost its soul. The clock looks weird, and the glass windows are not at all integrated with the space. The stall and eating area closest to the windows are probably the emptiest; that used to be a busy walkway with stalls and has been glassed in and the walkway is tiny. One laden stroller or buggy almost takes up the whole ramp. Call it what you want from an architectural perspective, if people don't go there you get a failing grade.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted November 29, 2011 at 11:37:51 in reply to Comment 71641

Imho, the biggest failure of the Market is simply a bad floor-plan with the location of eating areas and ready-to-eat food sellers. The old approaches with single centralized eateries were far better than this archipelago of tables.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2011-11-29 11:38:15

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By design stinks (anonymous) | Posted November 25, 2011 at 11:28:15 in reply to Comment 71611

The functionality of the building is horrible. There is simply no way to make it functional. Besides the 15 feet of empty space street side is an affront to my economic functionality sensibilities. Its a piece of garbage that should never have been built as designed 30 years ago and the reno did nothing to make the monstrosity better

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted November 29, 2011 at 11:36:44 in reply to Comment 71617

The 15 feet of empty streetside space is meant for booths.

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By booths in a library???? (anonymous) | Posted November 29, 2011 at 14:03:53 in reply to Comment 71683

Nice try tho

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted November 25, 2011 at 10:16:31 in reply to Comment 71611

Martin, while I would not use such vivid imagery to describe the new library/market, there is something called Post-Occupancy Evaluation.

POE is usually carried out "after the commissioning of use - by trained professionals who are independent consultant and who offer impartial assessment of the place undergoing evaluation - these consultants usually have a social sciences and workplace consulting background."

"Post Occupancy Evaluation involves systematic evaluation of opinion about buildings in use, from the perspective of the people who use them. It assesses how well buildings match users' needs, and identifies ways to improve building design, performance and fitness for purpose. It differs significantly from conventional surveys and market research. It uses the direct, unmediated experiences of building users as the basis for evaluating how a building works for its intended use."

Further there is something called: Facility performance evaluation - FPE is an extension of what had been called 'post-occupancy evaluation.'

"To better understand the impact of early design delivery decisions on long-term efficiency and effectiveness of buildings, and To better understand the impact of building delivery processes and decisions on customer response both initially and over the life cycle of the building."

These criteria should rightfully be used to establish awards for buildings.

The OAA and the CA in many cases fail to use such measures, and so surface form, glitz, and unmitigated fluff is what they end up celebrating - which then goes on to educate lay-people's opinions and tastes.

If such stringent measures as above were used to select award winning architecture - and such strong user feedback was included in this particular nomination, I am quite sure that the award results would have been quite different.

Mahesh P. Butani

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-11-25 10:26:09

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted November 25, 2011 at 08:21:29

Some of you may remember this article from August, and the spirited dead end conversation it generated:

Hamilton Should Aim Higher - Literally, "Let's ensure that his design is urban, glass and modern, ...What better way to show the world that we're current, modern and booming than seeing state-of-the-art condo towers being built here?" ~ Jason Leach, August 18, 2011

You may remember a similar recent article here too and the comments it generated:

Wilson- Learn from History on Board of Ed Building, Jason Leach, November 15, 2011

Sadly, both these articles got buried fast... leaving conversations hanging with questions wrongly framed.

A very recent story in Toronto called: "Throw-away Buildings" is causing a lot of buzz.

This and CBC's Mary Wiens discussions on this issue sheds light on not just the topic itself, which is critical to Hamilton's future - but the cavalier manner in which many in Hamilton choose to talk about architecture and urban design.

CBC News Toronto-Throw Away Buildings Videos: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

The concerns raised by Throw-away Buildings are very serious, the consequences disastrous and the readers comments real.

It is up to Hamiltonian's to rapidly raise the local level of public conversations on architecture, planning and urban design, or stand by and watch the consequences of ill-framed discussions play out its absurdities.

Mahesh P. Butani

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By Perry (anonymous) | Posted November 26, 2011 at 00:48:47 in reply to Comment 71610

How long will the Filmworks Lofts last before the stucco rots off, d'you figure?

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By Bill (anonymous) | Posted November 26, 2011 at 01:50:51 in reply to Comment 71633

You will have to ask the developer from Vancouver about that, or the architect from Toronto who won the award for the C hotel.

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By martin (registered) | Posted November 25, 2011 at 10:35:37 in reply to Comment 71610

Mahesh, the issue of sustainability is indeed an important part of the discussion on urban design and architecture - and I think that Hamilton is well ahead of Toronto in this regard.

In the 2011 Urban Design and Architecture Awards competition, 6 of the 13 winning projects were either LEED certified or LEED eligible - these were not only new projects like CANMET but also projects that adaptively reused designated heritage properties. In addition, in the 2009 Urban Design competition, West Village Suites received an Award of Sustainability; it was one of the first buildings in Ontario to achieve LEED Platinum status.

John Straube, a well-known building scientist from the University of Waterloo who appeared on the CBC series mentioned above, discusses the optimal window-to-wall area for energy and daylight performance in this article. Interestingly, the good example that John Straube shows has a window-to-wall ratio that is strikingly similar to that of a landmark building in downtown Hamilton that received a 2011 Urban Design Award: The Lister Block.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted November 27, 2011 at 00:30:08 in reply to Comment 71613

David, Sustainability is not just an important part, it has become an integral part of urban design and architecture in our times.

There are no winners or leaders in sustainability issues. Being ahead of Toronto should never be a premise for Hamilton. The success of either city rests on the success of the entire region becoming sustainable.

We need to develop a better understanding of the sustainable imperative facing us. This involves dispelling myths around Green certification standards and awards - and discovering the truly transformational work being done in innovative labs that will lead us towards Green 2.0 and closer to becoming real Green and sustainable.

"High-fiving each other for spending wads of taxpayers' money is one thing; finding creative ways to encourage an nurture humane urban and suburban environments is another. ~ Nox"

  • Exploring Origins Project: "The goal of this project is to use molecular illustration and animation to help describe origins of life research and theories to broad audiences."

  • Creating 'Living' Buildings: "...responsive protocells to clad cities in an ethical, green and sustainable way... protocells may be used to create carbon-negative architectures..."

alt text

"the prototypical Vancouver condo building—towers of (poorly insulated) glass separated by (heat radiating) concrete balconies—provides about a tenth of the insulation value that a wood-frame home does. Yet, through the addition of a few energy efficient appliances, unscrupulous (or merely ignorant) marketers have succeeded in labeling condo towers as "green" buildings."

"The truth is that mainstream green building certification systems such as LEED, Built Green Canada, and Green Globes all reward strategies that lower energy demand, while next-generation standards such as Passivhaus, (Darmstadt, Germany) - Passivhaus, (Canada), and Living Buildings-(intro) are whittling building energy use very close to zero."

"With 145,000 LEED Professionals and 7,000 Certified projects, the USGBC's LEED Rating System has created an industry of LEED consultants across the globe. Yet what owners, designers, contractors and others are reminded of every day is that LEED is a checklist, not a design manual."

"A decade from now we may recognize these standards as one of the most significant international initiatives for sustainable development. ISO 14000 defines a voluntary environmental management system."

  • LEED versus ISO 14001

"The one is a recognized tried and tested truly international standard, the other is a 'non profit' trying to bolster their sustainable building agenda w reality being that it can never be a universal fit..."

"BREEAM is the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings, with 200,000 buildings with certified BREEAM assessment ratings and over a million registered for assessment since it was first launched in 1990. BREEAM can be used to assess the environmental performance of any type of building, new and existing, anywhere in the world. BREEAM is an internationally recognised brand across the world, setting the standard for sustainability in the built environment -(Case studies)."

  • BREEAM or LEED - strengths and weaknesses of two main environmental assessment methods

On LEED & Envirobabble:

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-11-27 00:52:25

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By Ningu (anonymous) | Posted November 27, 2011 at 16:13:12 in reply to Comment 71643

Can we see this theoretical framework in the form of a local building, or is this just a case of academic angel food cake, where pragmatism and profit are ultimately more compelling project drivers?

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted November 28, 2011 at 17:13:19

Ningu: Such ideas have moved on beyond theoretical frameworks in most cities - and are deployed in practice at various stages (1) of refinement in different parts of the world.

We will begin to see such thinking in the form of local buildings as soon as such foundational ideas are discussed more freely among lay people in Hamilton --and our local public conversations move from archi-babble patched together with Jane Jacobs and Richard Florida says that too... logic-- to more intelligent conversations, with a problem solving stance that is driven by a need for discovery of 'local context'.

A quick-fix rush to list the popular top10 successes from other cities will continue to regurgitate preconceived life-style choices and aesthetic biases.

"Egg whites provide the lift in angel cakes, so no baking powder or baking soda is needed."

We need to recognize that our current local conversations on architecture and urban design use a lot of baking powder for an artificial lift - or hype.

One such example of this is the above architectural awards that operate under categories that perpetuate antiquated form based thinking.

A lot of these signature projects suffer from poor locations such as the Learning Centre, or even poorer use such as the Lister Block which will stand empty past 4.30pm every weekday. Even the Landscape architecture award - edible sounding as it is! is located in a place which simply cannot stimulate a community market like spirit - stuck there on the forecourt of the city hall alongside a 24/7 highway. And the Healthy Communities category suffers from poor planning of the McNab Terminal which involves transit riders crossing bus lanes in order to access the terminal... but which is just fine, because there is a gratuitous green roof on top of the long bus shelters made up of metal decking -- which may not be all that cool in a few years when the grass remains uncut because of budget cuts, and leaks start to develop as the metal corrodes.

The mistakes made here are that green certification & such annual awards have been turned into an industry in itself - in worshiping superficial form, rather than using it as a vehicle for scientific benchmarking of high design standards in sustainability and architecture.

The other such example is the local conversations of the so called "Vancouver Model" which some suggest Hamilton needs to adopt in order to succeed. However the fact are:

"Often cities like New York and Vancouver are cited as stellar examples of dense ecologically superior cities with tall buildings. It’s usually assumed that it’s the tall buildings in these cities that give them the edge."

"These cities are indeed very positive when it comes to carbon and other ecological metrics. But it’s often overlooked that tall buildings are only a fraction of all structures in these places, with the bulk of neighborhoods consisting of rowhouses, low-rise apartment buildings, and other much lower structures. They get their low-carbon advantages not from density per se, but from an optimum distribution of daily amenities, walkability and access to transit, and other efficiencies of urban form." ~ More low-down on tall buildings

Our local media conversations on architecture and urban design suffer gravely from the lack of deep reading of cities - in turn resulting in evangelizing physical form of buildings like in a fashion show. Such superficial conversations fail to even research basic facts before rushing to press with solutions - another example of this is Hamilton's tendency to ascribe Vancouver's success to its built-form. A recent article in Canadian Architect (CA) exposes the deeper reasons behind Vancouver's liveability quite clearly:

"In the history of urban planning in Canada, 1953 was a turning point for creative financing at the municipal level. That year, the province of British Columbia granted a unique Charter to the City of Vancouver, which, among other things, permitted discretionary zoning. In 1975, Vancouver's planning officials utilized this acquired authority to apply discretionary zoning--or approve a project based on objective criteria--and give bonus density to certain developments in exchange for community facilities. In 1989, these "amenity bonuses" were formalized to create an interesting experiment in creative financing for the City--the Community Amenity Contribution (CAC)."

"While Vancouver's Development Cost Levies (DCLs) help fund childcare facilities, parks, social housing, and engineering services, -- CACs pay for a wider range of services, including artists' studios, community gardens, non-market housing, park refurbishments, public art, cultural facilities, drug treatment facilities, greenways, and bicycle lanes."

"The director of city planning for the City of Vancouver, Brent Toderian, adds, "it has been a cornerstone of the Vancouver model of city building."

"After deducting hard costs, soft costs, a 15% developer profit, and overhead for two to three years, the City of Vancouver negotiates for 70% to 80% of the additional density--also considered a "land-lift" because of the increased value to the property--in the form of a CAC."

"In the final analysis, the best test of CACs comes not from their relative size, but from their effect on local liveability. ...In theory, CACs are abstract financial instruments debated at City Hall but in reality, these creative financial instruments (or lack thereof) help determine and improve the quality of life in urban areas. "Visitors don't realize how we can provide for all of these amenities in Vancouver," notes Toderian."

Enormous amounts of energy in Hamilton is wasted on ascribing the label of pragmatism to superficial form based thinking and re-writing of history, while the building industry chases an entirely different market-driven pragmatism of quick profits and early exits with certification and awards:

"...In fact, I'm working on a piece with some historic context that shows Hamilton was actually headed towards the type of urban development we now see in Vancouver long before Vancouver was... ~ Jason"

Our local academia has been entirely absent from the research and development aspects of Hamilton's urban redevelopment - while perpetuating Green certification myths via its poorly located new campus buildings or its recent planning disconnects in the lower city at Bay & Main or Wentworth North.

Many false premises are allowed to perpetuate via the local media in Hamilton, while -real discussions worth having- are ignored or plain avoided or even ridiculed, and being critical of this is looked upon as being condescending or belittling false premises -- the result is that world outside Hamilton carries on with its rapid progress in sustainability issues -- while we end up fighting false battles which are as shallow as the depth of our media pundits, whose power over the local people defines our community's green and sustainability knowledge base.

It is tragic that in a city of over half-a-million with two tax payer funded institutions of higher learning, the ideas that are allowed to float up and define our community's progress in green industries and sustainability issues in 2011 are such as these.

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